Virginia Labor Laws

Virginia Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Virginia to have a solid understanding of Virginia labor laws.

  • Are you unsure about your rights as a Virginia employee under state labor laws?
  • Do you need clarity on your entitlement to vacation leave and holiday leave?
  • Are you concerned about discrimination in your workplace?
  • Wondering how part-time employment impacts your benefits and rights?
  • Confused about the implications of federal Fair Labor Standards Act on your working conditions?

Virginia, as a state, possesses its unique set of labor and employment laws that govern the rights and obligations of both employers and employees.

Making sense of these regulations requires comprehensive knowledge and expertise in state labor laws, employment law, and federal statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.

We offer clarity and insight into the intricacies of Virginia labor laws.

This article is for:

  • Virginia employees seeking guidance on their rights and entitlements under state labor laws.
  • Employers in Virginia aiming to ensure compliance with employment regulations and foster fair working conditions.
  • Part-time workers in Virginia wanting to understand their benefits and protections.
  • Individuals interested in the intersection of labor laws and social issues like discrimination.
  • Anyone seeking information on vacation leave, holiday leave, and unemployment insurance in Virginia.

We understand the importance of staying informed about employment regulations to navigate the complexities of the modern workplace.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just entering the workforce, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to advocate for your rights and contribute to fair and equitable working conditions.

Let’s explore the intricacies of Virginia labor laws together.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Virginia labor laws.

Virginia Wage Laws

Virginia Minimum Wage

Virginia adheres to a tiered minimum wage system exceeding the federal minimum wage. Currently, the standard minimum wage in Virginia is $12.00 per hour. This rate is scheduled for further increases in the future.

Tipped Employees

Employers in Virginia can utilize a tip credit towards the minimum wage requirements for tipped employees, as long as the employee’s wages plus tips equal at least the standard Virginia minimum wage.


Certain categories of workers, such as agricultural workers or some trainees, may be exempt from Virginia minimum wage laws.

Virginia Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

Virginia employers must establish regular paydays and pay their employees at least once per month.

Final Paychecks

When an employee’s employment ends, regardless of the reason, they are entitled to receive all earned wages on or before the next regular payday.

Payroll Deductions

Employers can make deductions from wages only under specific circumstances, such as those required by law or those authorized in writing by the employee.

Virginia Overtime Laws

Overtime Rate

Virginia follows the federal standard set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which mandates overtime pay at 1.5 times an employee’s regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Non-Exempt Employees

Only non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay under Virginia and federal law. Various factors determine exempt status, including job duties and salary level.

Compensatory Time

Virginia employers cannot offer compensatory time (“comp time”) instead of overtime pay to private sector employees.

Virginia Break Laws

Meal Breaks

Virginia employers are not legally obligated to provide meal breaks to employees who are 16 years of age or older.

Rest Breaks

Virginia does not have any state law requiring rest breaks for adult employees.


Minors aged 14 and 15 are entitled to a 30-minute meal break if they work for more than five consecutive hours.

Virginia Leave Requirements

Sick Leave

While Virginia does not mandate paid sick leave, employers may establish their own sick leave policies. Federal laws may provide additional leave protection in certain cases.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA grants eligible employees of covered employers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for family or medical reasons such as the birth of a child, a serious health condition, or caring for a qualifying family member.

Military Leave

Virginia offers leave protections for employees called to active duty in the military or National Guard.

Jury Duty Leave

Employers in Virginia must allow employees to serve on jury duty without the fear of losing their job.

Voting Leave

Virginia employers are encouraged to give employees time off for voting, although it is not strictly mandated by law.

Child Labor Laws in Virginia

Age Restrictions

Generally, minors under 14 are prohibited from working in Virginia.

Work Permits

Minors aged 14 and 15 generally need a work permit to be legally employed.

Hour Restrictions

Virginia child labor laws limit the number of hours and the times of day that minors can work.

Hazardous Occupations

Certain occupations are deemed too dangerous for minors under the age of 18.

Virginia Hiring Laws


Virginia and federal law prohibit discrimination in hiring based on protected characteristics like race, religion, age (over 40), disability, sex, gender identity, national origin, and more. The Virginia Human Rights Act provides extensive anti-discrimination protections.

Background Checks

Employers in Virginia can conduct background checks with certain limitations, often requiring employee consent.


Some Virginia employers are required to use E-Verify to confirm an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States.

Virginia Termination Laws


Virginia is an employment-at-will state. This means employers can terminate employment for any reason or no reason, as long as the termination is not discriminatory or in violation of an employment contract. Likewise, employees can leave a job at any time without cause.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment

Exceptions include breach of an employment contract, discriminatory or retaliatory termination, and certain whistleblower protections.

Notice Periods

While not legally required, providing advance notice of termination is considered a professional courtesy.

Occupational Safety in Virginia

Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH)

VOSH enforces workplace safety and health regulations within the state, aligning with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Employer Responsibilities

Employers must provide safe workplaces free from recognized hazards, comply with OSHA/VOSH standards, and maintain proper recordkeeping of injuries and illnesses.

Employee Rights

Employees have the right to report hazardous conditions, request OSHA inspections, and refuse dangerous work tasks under certain circumstances.

Workers’ Compensation

Virginia’s workers’ compensation system provides benefits to employees injured on the job, covering medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.

Additional Considerations

Unemployment Benefits

The Virginia Employment Commission administers unemployment benefits for eligible individuals who have lost their job through no fault of their own.

Drug Testing

Virginia has certain rules governing employer drug testing rights.

Whistleblower Protections

Virginia laws provide some protection to employees who report illegal or unsafe activities in the workplace.

Industry-Specific Regulations

Some industries, like healthcare or construction, may be subject to more specific regulations.

Important Resources

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Virginia labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Virginia, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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